March 6, 2013 in Sports

USC eyes Floyd

A.D. meets with former Trojans coach
Nomaan Merchant Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Coach Tim Floyd resigned from USC in 2009 amid allegations he improperly recruited O.J. Mayo.
(Full-size photo)

Tim Floyd has talked to USC about his old job as the Trojans’ coach. He is not necessarily headed back to Southern California.

Floyd, now the coach at UTEP, met with athletic director Pat Haden about USC’s men’s basketball opening, UTEP athletic director Bob Stull said Tuesday.

Floyd resigned from USC under accusations that he improperly recruited star O.J. Mayo. His successor, Kevin O’Neill, was fired in January after three mostly disappointing seasons.

Stull said Haden contacted him six weeks ago about discussing the vacancy with Floyd.

“Coach Floyd has always indicated to me that he is happy working at UTEP, and until he tells me otherwise he is our coach,” Stull said.

Floyd told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday that he met with USC partly to remove any stigma from his years as coach.

“I’ve neither been offered the job, nor said I’m even looking for a new job, but I felt it was important to talk to (Haden and athletic department official Steve Lopes) for our former players at USC and former coaches at USC,” Floyd told the website. He first spoke with the Los Angeles Times.

A UTEP spokesman said Floyd would also address the situation after the Miners’ game Tuesday night against No. 25 Memphis.

Floyd’s contract with UTEP runs through 2015 and pays at least $600,000 a year, according to the El Paso Times. He owes no financial penalty under the contract if he leaves UTEP.

While USC self-imposed sanctions on its basketball program over Mayo’s recruitment, the NCAA did not find any violations committed by Floyd. When he became UTEP’s coach in 2010, Floyd said he wanted it to be clear that his resignation from USC was “not an admission of guilt.”

Haden replaced Mike Garrett, the athletic director who originally hired Floyd at USC. Floyd had success turning an also-ran program at a school known mostly for football into a winner. He went 85-50 in four seasons, with three trips to the NCAA tournament and one Sweet 16 berth.

After the 2009 season, allegations surfaced that Floyd paid a Los Angeles event promoter $1,000 in cash to steer Mayo to USC. Floyd resigned in June 2009 and the school barred the team from the postseason for one year.

Floyd was hired the following year in El Paso, three decades after he got his first coaching job under legendary Miners coach Don Haskins. He has a 56-40 record with the Miners in three seasons.

USC spokesman Tim Tessalone said in an email that Haden would not comment on the search until a coach is hired.

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